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Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan

Recruitment and Retention Toolkit   Building a Recruitment and Retention Plan   Step 5: Start the Plan: Identify the Strategy and Intervention [2.1.0.i]   Start the Plan: Identify the Recruitment and Retention Strategy and Intervention Quick Tool [2.1.5]

Start the Plan: Identify the Recruitment and Retention Strategy and Intervention Quick Tool [2.1.5]

By completing this Quick Tool, you will be completing Step 5: Start the Plan: Identify the Strategy and Intervention [2.1.0.i].


This step will walk you through determining the best strategy to support your organizational needs based on the materials and data you have reviewed and collected, and help you identify an intervention approach within that strategy.

Task 1: Review Materials to Help Clarify Options

The results of your research may have already shaped an idea of which strategy will be the most effective response to your focus. This step will provide resources to help clarify options and provide information on strategies successfully used by other behavioral health organizations.

Recruitment and retention strategies are generally identified by their methodology. Recruitment strategies include recruitment and selection. Retention strategies include orientation, career development, recognition, training, supervision, and support. Information, directions, and tools concerning these eight strategies are on this Web portal as recruitment and retention chapters.

To help clarify or research your options, the following resources can be used:

Task 2: Decide Which Strategy Would Be Most Effective

After review of the material, decide if the focus should be on a recruitment or a retention strategy. Refer again to the information in the Recruitment and Retention Strategies and Indicators [2.1.6.a.1] resource if you need help to determine your approach.

Review the results listed in your completed Organizational Recruitment and Retention Research Workbook [2.1.2.d.1] from Step 1. This document summarizes your stakeholder survey information, organizational recruitment and retention information, and trends from your employee satisfaction surveys and employee exit interviews.

Re-sort your data, viewing it from a perspective influenced by the knowledge you have gained from defining the problem, identifying the needs, resources and constraints, developing objectives and alternatives, and selecting the priority.

Look at it from a more simplistic perspective; although retention problems may be inter-related, some symptoms can be a clear indication of the direction you should take. Review the job position that has been identified as a challenge. Is this position a problem because…
  • The agency did not have enough applicants to make a good choice?
    Recruitment strategies address challenges by marketing the organization more effectively to increase understanding of what the organization does, its mission and values, and what skills employees need.
  • The agency did not hire the right candidate?
    Selection strategies reduce the number of hiring mistakes and increase the chances of appropriate hires.
  • The employee, once hired, was not given adequate information or support to start the job correctly?
    Orientation strategies improve effectiveness by giving the new employee the support to adequately complete the job.
  • Turnover is high, staff is not engaged, and/or the culture of the organization is negative?
    Recognition strategies acknowledge the important contributions of employees and remind employee of their value and contributions as individuals and a member of the organization.
  • Skills are not appropriate or adequate and hires become frustrated, disengage, leave, or are let go?
    Training strategies provide employees with the information and skills they need to do their jobs effectively.
  • The staff is stagnant – they reach their peak in the organization and become frustrated, disengage, leave, or are let go?
    Career development strategies support staff to stay within the organization while gaining position or increasing their skills.
  • Employees’ needs are not suitably matched with the supervision they receive?
    Supervision strategies help supervisors more effectively manage, coordinate, and communicate administrative policy to employees.
Make your decision from your review. If you need assistance in decision making, refer to the Tools to Help with Making Decisions [2.1.3.b.1] resource.

Task 3: Decide Which Intervention in that Strategy Will Be Most Effective

Once you have chosen the general strategy, you will need to determine what intervention from within your selected strategy will be most effective. The resource, Intervention Suggestions for Recruitment and Retention Strategies [2.1.6.a.2], can be reviewed again to help you identify resources available through this Web portal. Although this list is not comprehensive, it may provide some information about your options.

Some questions to consider when deciding which intervention to use are:
  • How big is your problem? Is it a problem of the whole organization, of a certain site or division, of one shift or all shifts?
  • Do you need an immediate fix or can you plan a longer intervention for a greater future outcome? 
  • Do you have to be concerned with running out of resources for long-term interventions? Can you complete the intervention in stages?
  • Do you need to start with short-term objectives to show results and provide quick relief?
  • What intervention could produce the biggest impact for your problem?
  • What intervention would be the most realistic in terms of resources and successful task completion?
  • Do you have key staff, contractors, or volunteers available to complete the necessary steps in the intervention, such as those who will be involved in developing, implementing, and evaluating the intervention?
To help you make a decision on the most effective intervention strategy there are several worksheets within the Project Management Interactive Workbook [2.1.7.a], including these following suggested forms to help determine the best intervention for your organization:
  • The Risk Management Matrix. This worksheet helps to identify, qualify, quantify, and prioritize risks (e.g., events that might happen, or the uncertainty of a project), create mitigation and contingency plans, and assign risk owners.
  • Stakeholder Analysis Worksheet. This worksheet helps document the identified stakeholders and their role. It may be helpful in determining the stakeholder resources available for each option.
  • Resource Loading Worksheet. This worksheet documents the identified work effort required, the duration, and the allowed commitment level of each person assigned to the project.
Once you have decided on the strategy and possible intervention, you will need to build your plan.

In the process of building your plan, it may become apparent that the specific intervention can not produce the desired outcomes within the time frame or with the resources you have available. In order to meet short-term, long-term, and multiple goals you may have to:
  • Start this step again,
  • Chose another intervention, or
  • Plan dual interventions.

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